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BB King - To Know You Is To Love You

Posted: Wed Feb 10, 2016 8:04 am
by codedognz
Hi folks, this is my first post in the forum. I am trying to figure out the song in the subject line. I can't seem to find any resource on it around the place. So far I have just been repeatedly listening to it, and watching BB's live performance of this song in Africa, in 1974 - the year I was born :)

From the little I could glimpse he seemed to be playing around the BB box, and it seemed to be in the key of Am. However, in my limited knowledge of music I can't even get close to the sound and phrasing. Can someone please point me in the right direction? Perhaps the chords involved to begin with?

Thanks in advance.

Re: BB King - To Know You Is To Love You

Posted: Wed Feb 10, 2016 9:31 am
by 12bar
:welcome: to the forum!

We're talking about I think.

Written by Syreeta Wright and Stevie Wonder it's on BB Kings album with the same name: ... 28album%29

So far it sounds nothing special to play, I can take y look when I'm back home and have a guitar in hand :big_smile:
Any special part of the song you want to be tabbed?
On the net there seems to be only a bass tab.

Re: BB King - To Know You Is To Love You

Posted: Wed Feb 10, 2016 9:54 am
by codedognz
Thanks for the welcome :thumbsup: And yes, that's the exact video I was referring to.

Wow, tabbing it would be more than I could've hoped for! To begin with I'd love to know the chord progression. There's a chunk of lead guitar starting around 2:05 min mark or so that I'm very interested in. This part seems to contain the essence of the song. If I can get the general gist of it I'd happily go off and doodle over backing track, or even a looper if I can get a reasonably representative chord progression. Well... I can't sing, so I really have no other choice :big_smile:

You're absolutely right, the song doesn't sound overly special, but it has a very special meaning to me. If you don't mind I'd like to give a bit of background information? I have just dropped off my first and very special dog, a Bernese Mountain Dog, at the crematorium after a 6 month battle with cancer. I was driving home by myself, completely numb, and this was the first song Spotify served me when I switched on my car stereo. To Know You Is To Love You, that was my boy through and through. Nothing quite like a bit of simple yet powerful blues to make a grown man pull over and sob. This tune has a very special place in my heart, right next to my boy. Any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated!

Re: BB King - To Know You Is To Love You

Posted: Wed Feb 10, 2016 11:22 am
by 12bar
Sad reason - I'll try my very best...

Re: BB King - To Know You Is To Love You

Posted: Wed Feb 10, 2016 11:44 am
by MichaelRobinson

My English and grammar is not the best. That's me.

Yes. Grownups do cry from time to time. You have reason to do so.

Take care

Re: BB King - To Know You Is To Love You

Posted: Wed Feb 10, 2016 7:54 pm
by VikingBlues
:welcome: to the forum. :D

I have no expertise on tabbing songs or picking up music by ear, so I'll leave it to our forum host to give you some advice that I'm sure will be very good.

The basis of the song might be nothing special, but of course in the hands of BB and with the sounds he could wring from a guitar it becomes much more than that.

I am truly sorry to hear of the reason that triggered your interest in the song. I've had to part with a few very special canine friends over the years and it's always so painful. Pulling over and sobbing seems like a very human and right thing to do.

All the Best to you.

Re: BB King - To Know You Is To Love You

Posted: Wed Feb 10, 2016 9:15 pm
by codedognz
Thank you all for your kind words. It never cease to amaze me how powerful music can be, in so many ways. I can't even dream of doing the tune justice but, thankfully, I am only playing for my own enjoyment... and enjoy it I will. Also, I have never been able to play a solo note perfect. The blues seems to allow for that quite well though. Can't remember who said it but, to paraphrase, it was something like "If you make a mistake, make it with conviction/feeling and move on". If you make too many, just call it jazz :tongue: (written in envy of those who can actually play jazz).

Re: BB King - To Know You Is To Love You

Posted: Wed Feb 10, 2016 10:07 pm
by 12bar
OK, what I got so far:

There are chords available for the original by Stevie Wonder: ... dertribute

It's obvious that BB used another key - he plays in Dm instead of Cm. So I moved the chords up a full note and ended with

Dm - Dm - A - Gm ... (to my ears the Eb is left out)

I tried it and it works pretty well. So all you have to do is to move all chords up a full note. :big_smile:

Let's take a look at the solo:

Code: Select all

2:08                                                                      2:16

BB uses two boxes at 10th and 14th fret, pretty much Dm pentatonic with his signature vibrato and lots of different bends. Most of the solo is quite easy to figure out, but not so easy to play like BB :lol:

Re: BB King - To Know You Is To Love You

Posted: Wed Feb 10, 2016 11:38 pm
by codedognz
Wow, that's brilliant! Thank you so much! Unfortunately I have 5 more hours at work before I can go home and try this out :)